Do it yourself concrete pea gravel driveway

Updated February 21, 2017

Installing a driveway on your property is a simple project to complete for many do-it-yourselfers. There are many options available to homeowners when choosing the look of their driveway. Adding an aggregate to the top layer of regular concrete such as pea gravel will enhance the appearance of the driveway, along with adding texture. Pea gravel is comprised of small, rounded stones with varying shades of colour. As long as you possess minor skills in working with concrete, you can successfully install a concrete pea gravel driveway to enjoy for many years.

Wash pea gravel free of dirt and dust. Pour six to eight gallons of pea gravel into a wheelbarrow. Insert a garden hose into the wheelbarrow and fill it with water.

Stir the pea gravel rocks in the water with a garden spade. Tilt the wheelbarrow forward to empty the water. Continue to add water, stir the pea gravel and dump the water from the wheelbarrow until the water begins to run clear.

Frame the area of the intended driveway with wooden two-by-eight inch boards. The boards will contain the poured concrete.

Mix bagged concrete in a clean wheelbarrow according to the instructions on the label. Depending on the size of the intended driveway, you may need to call a concrete pouring service to fill the driveway area.

Pour all of the concrete into the driveway area between the wooden boards, leaving 1/4-inch of space between the top of the concrete and the top of the wooden frame.

Level the wet concrete with a concrete screed. Drag the screed down the entire length of the driveway with the aid of a helper. Two people, one on each side of the driveway, should be able to effectively complete this task.

Smooth the surface of the wet concrete with a metal trowel.

Allow the wet concrete to set until there remains no standing water that is visible on the surface, which may be anywhere from four hours to overnight depending on the outside temperature and humidity levels.

Fill a small metal pail with rocks. Test the hardness of the concrete by sitting the pail of rocks on the surface of the concrete. If the pail does not sink in, but leaves a small indentation, it is ready for the pea gravel application.

Fill a five-gallon bucket with the cleaned pea gravel. Pour the bucket out onto the surface of the concrete driveway, evenly distributing the pea gravel as you pour. Continue to fill and empty the bucket of pea gravel until the concrete has an even coverage of pea gravel.

Distribute the pea gravel evenly over the surface of the concrete driveway by dragging a broom across the surface.

Press the pea gravel into the concrete driveway with a lawn roller. Sink the pea gravel into the concrete so it is at the same level of the concrete.

Allow the pea gravel driveway to set until the concrete no longer appears wet and shiny.

Drag a broom over the surface of the pea gravel driveway to make the stones more defined.

Wash the loose concrete residue made from the broom with a light spray from the garden hose. Allow the pea gravel driveway to dry up to 48 hours before using.


Remove the wooden boards from the driveway when the concrete is completely dry.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 wheelbarrows
  • Garden hose
  • Garden spade
  • 2-by-8 wooden boards
  • Concrete mix
  • Concrete screed
  • Metal trowel
  • Metal pail
  • Rocks
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Broom
  • Lawn roller
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About the Author

Rachel Turner has been writing professionally since 2000, focusing on gardening and home improvement topics. Her articles have appeared online at SlowTravel and in publications such as the "Arkansas Gardeners," "One Step Ahead" and "Writers Now." Turner holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Arkansas State University.